Can a love last forever?
When Emma returns to Dublin to put her estranged father’s affairs in order, she begins to piece together the story of his life and that of Grace, the mother she never knew. She knows her father as the judge – as stern and distant at home as he was in the courtroom. But as she goes through his personal effects, Emma begins to find clues about her mother that shock her profoundly.
A tale of enduring love and scandal that begins in 1950s Dublin and unravels across decades and continents, digging up long-buried family secrets along the way, The Judge’s Wife asks whether love really can last forever.
Praise for Ann O'Loughlin's bestselling debut novel The Ballroom Café
'A moving tale of loss, love and redemption.'
'Deftly written, moving and courageous.'
THE SUNDAY TIMES
'Slow-marching, romantic prose draws us into an old world that is rustic, genteel, quaint...[but] scandals lie in wait.'
'Secrets emerge, there's a whopper of a twist and this unabashed tear-jerker ends with a well-earthed, well-calculated emotional finale.'
THE IRISH TIMES
'Highly engaging debut you will want to dive into.'
SUNDAY INDEPENDENT, Ireland
In this gripping contemporary, Emma Moran returns to Dublin to find the mother she never knew, not to mourn her recently deceased father, a cruel judge who had her mother committed. The narrative shifts among Emma, who discovers her father's secrets and the clothes worn by her mother, Grace; Vikram, who tells his niece Rosa about his affair with Grace; and Grace, who's locked up in a mental hospital in Wicklow. O'Loughlin (The Secrets of Roscarbury Hall) is brilliant at revealing bits of personality and clues through conversation. She drops hints and connects concepts by juxtaposing scenes and images, such as Emma wearing the Sybil Connolly dresses Vikram watched Grace buy. The Wicklow facility attendants have no names, faces, or identifying characteristics, illustrating its dehumanizing nature. Unfortunately, Vikram and other Indian characters are nearly as two-dimensional, not developed nearly as well as Emma, Grace, or even minor Irish characters such as Emma's father. The other sour note comes from the blithe account of Grace's affair with Vikram, which glosses over the racial tension in 1950s Ireland. Despite these flaws, fans of love-conquers-all stories will cherish this richly woven tale of passion and pride.